My Weekend of Wonderful.

This weekend I completed my first paid photography gig. I’ve done work for people in the past but before Saturday I hadn’t ever worked for someone I didn’t already know. And this time I was paid for my work in cash, that means no barter, no free booze, no pat on the back, I got an actual check. It was amazing, my entire day.

I woke up nervous as can be on Saturday morning. I stuffed two cameras into my camera bag, a few extra memory cards, as well as a flash. My tummy was so uneasy. What if I didn’t do well? What if I got mugged on the way home and lost everything? What if she’s mean? What if I am mean? What if she hates me? What if it rains? What if everything is out of focus? Dear God, what have I agreed to?

I met the woman in SoHo at 10:30. We were to cover four different locations and take portraits at each one. The portraits were to be taken both inside and out. It was tricky, especially the work I did at her office, which had yellowish light and wall-to-wall reflective surfaces. I do believe that if I continue this type of work I’ll need a polarizer. Overall, I’m really happy with most of the shots. Like, really, really pleased with them. The lighting was incredible (it was overcast and lovely on Saturday) and the woman I worked with was super great. Everything went smoothly thank goodness. I think she’ll be pleased.

I do have a question that the Internet might be able to help me with. I have to put together an online portfolio (thumbnails, etc.) that she can easily click through and then let me know what pictures she’s interested in using for the article. I don’t want to use Flickr because I generally keep my personal life away from my professional life but something like Flickr might be nice. Does anyone have any suggestions? Is there a way to use Lightbox? I’m totally in the dark about this.

On Sunday my dear friend, Nico, came into the city to do some shopping with me. We had lunch at Home Restaurant in the West village. She came bearing gifts that included yarn, two awesome needles, and a book called Stitch and Bitch. That’s right, folks. I am going to finally learn how to knit. A boyfriend showed me how once in College and I very nearly finished a scarf but I haven’t touched it since. I’m excited.

After we ate we both picked up skirts. I got this one.

It’s a little gray here in New York City but that’s OK because the weekend turned out to be plump and lovely. Today I dropped Nico off at the bus station and hit the nail salon where I got my nails done like this and my eyebrows waxed like this.

Now it’s back to work.


  1. for that purpose, I’ve used iPhoto in the past

    choose export to webpage, and set the max-photo size to be like 640×480

    also export to a new folder. the way it names folders/files is weird. thats the only thing i don’t like about it.

    but you get a bunch of clean pages with only the photo and filename. you organize stuff by just creating a new album and dragging stuff into it.

    i used to use it when i had to cast models at work on go-sees. the clients loved it—they just got to see each model and had a filename. nothing fancy, no design. just pure info.


  2. Yea, knitting! Just giving moral support for your new skill. I also recommend Happy Hooker, the book on crochet by the same gals that brought you Stitch’n Bitch. Even easier and faster than knitting – and not as 70s kindergarten teacher as I recalled.


  3. Weekends of Wonderful are awesome. And rad, and well, just pretty stellar, indeed. I’m glad to hear the photography gig went well. Not that I would have ever doubted, what with your mad photo skillz and all. : )


  4. Exciting photo experience. I’ve done a few pro gigs now (but all for either people who know me or people I met while I was doing a gig). I am by no means well-experienced at it and I find that I learn something new each time.

    What I’ve done in the past:

    1. If the client wanted to be able to easily share the photos. And there wasn’t much editing work to do. Include purchase of a pro acct at flickr for customer. Upload all photos to a new account that is private to them. In two cases (wedding and a christening) this was so important that they even asked me to tag the photos. And they paid me to do it (I tagged as I uploaded, copying text tag combinations from a notepad file for ease.) I’ve also recently learned doesn’t technically allow professional transactions via their site.

    2. For portraits and one wedding shoot, I’ve used a site recommended to me by another budding pro:

    To quote the original recommendation I got: “They take a 15% commission on all
    orders placed through the site, orders you can price at your discretion and
    fulfill through whatever printing service you choose. For a small-timer
    like me this pay-as-you-go system works better than a site like smugmug
    where you have to pay $150 a year up front. If you’ve not looked into it
    yet, you might. I’ve found the Fred Miranda forums very helpful in the
    information-gathering process.”

    You probably know lots of places to get prints, esp being someone who has developed your own photos and living in the NYC area.

    The same person also recommended for prints and the prints I’ve received from there are great and much much better than I expected.


  5. Holy crap, Jon. they aren’t the prettiest Web sites in the world, but that whole iPhoto thing rules. And it’s totally free! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Sheryl, thank you, too. I signed up another Flickr account and I do think that’s what I’ll do in the future. My monies is tight right now so I shouldn’t buy another pro account for this right now. But I will certainly need to in the future.

    Thanks, ya’all. You’re the best.


  6. They’re not pretty – but it kind of makes it better—people focus on the photo, not the page layout.

    Also the management / filing of stuff is just awesome.

    Aperture might be better for that stuff. I’ll talk to some photo editor friends and find out their opinions for you.


  7. congrats, michelle! first jobs are scary but it sounds like you did it like a pro. i’m sure your shots were great.


  8. My wife directed me to your blog, and I thought that I should comment on the whole free photo account thing (i.e. Flickr). I’ve never used Flikr, but my understanding is that you may lose your exclusive rights to anything you post on a free account (don’t know about a pro-account). At any rate, don’t take my word for it, you should check into it.

    It’s too bad that you weren’t using WordPress for your blog (doesn’t appear as though you are, anyway). There is a free gallery plugin called fgallery (
    that is fully featured (includes a checkbox for using “lightbox”), includes mass file upload, private-password protected galleries, and a very good admin panel (built into the wordpress admin page). Good stuff for sure…

    Anyway, good luck, and congrats on your first real photo gig!


  9. Thanks, Heath.

    Yeah, I didn’t go with Flickr after all. And it’s good to know about the WordPress thing, but that would mean using to host the photos (url) right? I generally like to use my work url for things like that but I am curious about it.


  10. Congrats on your first paid gig!!!
    cool about the yarning..
    I have been teaching a co-worker to knit and if you want a knitting buddy or cohort or someone that won’t mind if you hit them with the needle.
    I will lend a needle, stitches and even some bitches (check out – I have my own version at Dojo during lunch M-F)


  11. i think i know of a knitting circle that may be starting up.

    If you want in, let me know, and i will introduce you to the appropriate people.


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